Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden is expected to miss a month of action after suffering a tendon strain to his right foot in a game against the Washington Wizards Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks but could miss up to 15 regular season games.

News of Harden’s injury further dampened a down night for the Sixers, who were entering their game against the Wizards on a three-game winning streak. Following a poor start to the season, the team’s defeat to Washington and temporary loss of Harden only exacerbate those early concerns. Though he finished the game, scoring 24 points on 18 attempts, an MRI revealed a more serious ankle injury than anticipated.

Throughout the good and bad of Philadelphia’s early season, Harden has consistently earned his status as a star, averaging 22 points and 10 assists per game. He and Joel Embiid have both been contributors from the beginning, but in recent games, the team has gradually found better ways to expand beyond those two, leading to more wins. With so little time to develop, however, Harden’s absence will still inevitably lead to more trouble on offense.

To replace Harden for a time, the Sixers will likely turn more to Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris, players who have done their part behind the team’s pair of stars. Most of Maxey’s value thus far has been as a shooter, and the guard should receive even more chances with Harden off the floor.

Harris, meanwhile, has been able to perform in a well-rounded role at power forward this season but should become a larger part of the team’s schemes for the next month.

Bench players like Shake Milton may also receive more minutes in Harden’s absence. Milton, a shooting guard playing nine minutes per game this season, has started for the Sixers in various stints over the years while proving capable of modest production off the bench.

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